Friday, December 29, 2017

The hardest part of Christmas... that it ends. There's so much build up, preparations, anticipation and then suddenly, it's 11:00 a.m. on December 25th, and for the most part, it's all over. It makes we wonder if the better part of this deal isn't the advent days...the special, fun days counting up till Christmas. I was telling Savannah today, that the 12 days of Christmas start on Christmas day and go until January 5th. The holiday season seems to start on November 1 and comes to an abrupt halt on December 26. We decided to keep the Christmas decorations and tree up until the 5th, to savor and celebrate the whole holiday season.

By far my favorite activity with the kids (or even all by myself!) is hot chocolate, movies and the cozy fireplace. We cuddle up with a blanket, and watch Christmas movies, the good and the bad ones! The boys loved providing commentary to the romantic ones. The past few days we've watched a variety of flicks, kid and adult friendly. I just love it.

We spent a lot of December "elfing around", fun shenanigans that help in any way with Christmas. December was also full of many memorable moments, concerts, Bailey's acceptance into Texas Tech and even a snowfall!

Finland our elf , and his sidekick Spritely, had a lot of fun this season.

They really like Lorelei's poetry project for school based on e.e. cummings' poem, "little tree."

Although we found out quickly through e-mail that Bailey was accepted to Texas Tech, the official letter and welcome package came a week or so later. He also received a letter, with a merit scholarship offer for academics! He is thrilled to be a Red Raider!

December means holiday concerts. Jonas tied for 1st chair violins. Stinker never even practices!

Savannah's concert was the very same night. As soon as Jonas finished, we jumped in the car and headed to her's.

We had a couple Christmas parties this year. Lorelei's the only one who still has school parties. Nana was able to join her for the festivities.

John and I cleaned up and headed out for a lovely 5th grade team dinner party. Nothing better than yummy food and friends.

Savannah was my shopping buddy this year. It was wonderful to spend time together, just her and I.  We got all our shopping done in one, very long day! Thank goodness for generous students and gift cards. We were gone so long we had to have two meals out!

Christmas Eve crept up quickly. Nana outdid herself again, with a delicious spread of goodies and special gifts. The kids always say, Christmas Eve at my mom and dad's, is their favorite night of the year.

Christmas morning is so much calmer these days. No one wakes up at the crack of dawn. They are excited, but love their sleep too. It wasn't a huge Christmas. There were gifts, but I have found as the kids get older, there's less under the tree. They need less, they want less, and are just as happy.

Gifts from Santa are always extra special.

Lorelei was thrilled that Santa brought her an American Girl Doll, MaryEllen from the 1950's...her very first one. She played all day long with her.

We had a quiet day. Everyone really enjoyed playing with their new toys or video games. Savannah and I cracked opened some "bubbly" (sparkling apple cider) to accompany our movies! We curled up all afternoon watching movies.

The day after Christmas the girls and I headed out to take care of Christmas returns and exchanges.  Not too many...but enough to make a Starbucks stop necessary!

Yesterday John and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary. Lorelei made us sleep in. We could hear the clinking and smell something cooking. Lorelei was hard at work, by herself, making us an anniversary breakfast. She is so sweet and thoughtful.

It's plenty cold outside, and even colder weather is heading our way. We have just a few more days of break and I'm thrilled for the excuse to cuddle up and stay close to home.  

Stay warm friends...enjoy these last few days of 2017.  

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Ordinary moments...

"Time is a flowing river. Happy those who allow themselves to be carried, unresisting, with the current. They float through easy days. They live, unquestioning, in the moment."~Christopher Morley, Where the Blue Begins

Ever since Bailey turned 18, and all this college stuff started, I just sit in shock of where we are in life. I can't stop reflecting on these moments and how much they mean. John said to me a few weeks back, that I amaze him with how nothing really phases me (HA!). I looked at him and laughed. He said he doesn't know how I do it. It made me think. What is it that I do that makes it look as though nothing phases me? The quote above nails it. I go with the flow and live in the moment. I rarely think or plan any further than a few days, or week ahead. I look at each day individually. I also think of each ordinary moment as well...something extraordinary. These last few weeks have been full of magical everyday moments.

We started off our Thanksgiving break with a road trip to Lubbock to visit Texas Tech University.  The drive was so interesting, filled with wind turbines, cotton fields and oil drills. It was flat, with buttes out of nowhere and the bluest skies I've ever seen.

Our new favorite hotel, (not that we travel much) is Embassy Suites, and the one in Lubbock didn't disappoint. It was quite unique!

Lorelei wanted to play "Go Fish" but forgot to bring cards, so she made her own. She beat me twice and John once. We think the cards were rigged.

The breakfast buffet was delicious as always and the best part...I didn't have to make it! Our room was right off the courtyard. 

It was a cool crisp fall day. It truly felt like fall on campus. Leaves were changing colors and falling everywhere.

The architecture and sculptures all over campus were amazing. We all fell in love with Texas Tech!

Thanksgiving was soon after we returned home. My mom, as usual, hosted a beautiful dinner. 

We are always so grateful for her wonderful cooking. 

Thanks Nana and Papa!

Even though I said I wasn't read to embrace the holidays...well, I did! Even Bailey was surprised with how quickly I had up the Christmas decorations. We decided to go ahead again with our 4.5 foot Charlie Brown tree. We considered buying a new and larger tree this year, but I have to admit, there's something about this small one that I just love. 

Our elf Finland promptly arrived on December 1...I loved the look of awe Lorelei had.

For the very first time, we took both girls and Brieley, my niece, to see The Nutcracker. It was beautiful, as are these three girls!

As you can see in the photo (sandals times 3) Sunday, the day we went to see The Nutcracker, was rather warm, so you can imagine the surprise of our whole city when it snowed on Thursday night! I mean real snow...not "Texas" snow, but white fluffy snow that accumulated to nearly 2 inches and even lasted overnight.

It was magical...much like my life feels right now, in these ordinary moments.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Time keeps on slipping...

 ...into the future.  Sorry, I use to love the Steve Miller Band!  Even if I'm not quite ready to admit that fall is over, and the holiday season is about to begin, the truth is unavoidable. Thanksgiving break has arrived and we are heading off tomorrow for a double college visit to Texas Tech.  This visit, both Bailey and Savannah are checking out the campus and all Lubbock has to offer.  Again, I find myself in total awe that I have not one, but nearly two children ready for college.  Time...seriously, KNOCK IT OFF!

We wrapped up October with Halloween festivities.

We started off our November with another Boyen birthday.  Jonas turned 12...too bad he is the size of a grown man!

I took the afternoon off and snuck him out of school for a special lunch date to The Cheesecake Factory.

We love our Sunday mornings together.  Everyone else likes to sleep in.  Lorelei and I get up around 8:00, watch CBS Sunday morning, meal plan and make our grocery list.

Bailey had a big event this week, he was inducted into the National Honor Society.  He was actually invited as Junior, but declined without even telling me.  This year when the invite luckily came around again, he filled out the application and was selected.  We are proud of him.

We have had lots of school events:two wonderful choir performances, the vocabulary hat parade and a field trip!

Walmart had a sign up today...37 days till Christmas.  I really just want to savor these last few days of fall. I'm just not ready for Christmas decorations, present buying, and all the crazy that sometimes comes with the holidays.  I wish we had a month between November and December, just like I'd love a day between Saturday and Sunday.  

I would truly love the gift of more time...